King Edward VII Home, Auburn was opened on Saturday 7 October 1911 by the Australian Protestant Orphans' Society. The Home was established by Dr Dill Macky for orphaned and destitute children of Protestant parents. In June 1917 the Home was renamed the Dr Dill Macky Memorial Home for Children, Auburn in recognition of its late founder.
Dr Dill Macky began his appeal for funds to establish a Home for the training and education of orphaned children of Protestant parents as early as mid 1909, when he established the Australian Protestant Orphans' Society to collect donations for a new Home to take in orphaned or destitute children of Protestant parents.
In 1911, the Society opened the King Edward VII Home, Auburn, intended to accommodate 25 children. The Home was officially opened on Saturday 7 October 1911 by Mrs CG Wade. At the ceremony, Macky spoke of his motivations for establishing the Home, which included concern about mortality rates in children's institutions, as well as the necessity of Protestant children not being placed in Catholic institutions. The Sydney Morning Herald reported on official opening ceremony.
Dr Dill Macky said that some few years ago he had said he wished to see a home for Protestant orphans erected by the Protestants of the Commonwealth. He had been prompted to make that remark by rending Dr McKellar's report on the death rate in the different homes throughout the State. He had been shocked to hear that in one institution - Waitara - 83 out of every 100 were put beneath the sod every year. (Cries of "Shame.") Of course many Protestant children found their way there, but they were not taught the Protestant faith ... he started the movement by means of collection cards, and by the end of a year the sum of £600 or £700 had been collected as the nucleus of the fund, and he hoped that that day they would open the first home practically clear of debt. Of course, the purchase of the home was a small matter. There was the matter of upkeep, and that was the duty that would devolve upon them. But he had no fear as to the result. He just wished to say that the movement was completely unsectarian. He knew that the Roman Catholics said that their homes were not sectarian-that they took all in. So they might, but they took good pains that the children were not long Protestants, but Roman Catholics. He did not blame them, but he thought it a reflection that Protestants had not taken steps to have such a home before.
From 1916 the Home was licensed by the State Children's Relief Department to care for up to 10 infants (children under the age of 7) but it also took in older children and in 1914 had room for 37 children.
In June 1917 a renaming ceremony was held for the Home and the name was officially changed to Dr Dill Macky Memorial Home in honour of the work done by Dr Dill Macky for Protestantism in establishing the Home.
1911 - 1917 King Edward VII Home, Auburn
1917 - 1982 Dr Dill Macky Memorial Home for Children, Auburn
Sources used to compile this entry: Report of the State Children's Relief Board, W.A. Gullick, Government Printer, Sydney, 1894-1920. Also available at https://www.opengov.nsw.gov.au/main; 'Dr Macky's Protestant Orphanage', Watchman (Sydney, NSW), 5 August 1909, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115096957; 'Orphans' Home. Opened by Mrs Wade.', The Sydney Morning Herald, 9 October 1911, http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/15280044; 'King Edward VII. Protestant Home', Watchman (Sydney, NSW), 19 June 1913, http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/112379113; '"These Little Ones." The Dr Dill Macky Memorial Protertant Home for Orpaans', Watchman (Sydney, NSW), 14 June 1917, http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/111811961.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 21 June 2012, Last modified: 5 November 2015